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$4.5M settlement reached in case accusing doctors of failing to take action

When an accident that results in an individual suffering painful and serious injuries occurs, it's important to seek medical attention. This is exactly what a 62-year old woman did after she fell some 6 ft. from a ladder. While examining and assessing the woman, a medical scan revealed one of her ribs cracked from the impact of her fall.

The scan also showed the fall and subsequent injuries resulted in a sharp tip of her rib being dangerously close to the woman's aorta artery. Due to the serious nature of the woman's injury and need for immediate medical intervention, she was transferred to another specialty hospital.

Upon arrival at the specialty hospital 62-year-old was examined and evaluated; however, no additional tests or scans were performed. Instead, the woman was given medication to manage the pain and doctors opted to wait until the next morning to perform tests or take action. The next morning, a simple cough caused the rib to move and puncture the woman's aorta. Despite efforts to save her life, she died shortly thereafter.

The woman's children subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the two doctors who were entrusted with providing the woman medical care. Asserted in the lawsuit were claims that the lack of urgency or action on the part of the defendants was a major contributing factor in the woman's death.

The woman's three surviving children were recently awarded a settlement of $4.5 million after the defendants agreed to settle the wrongful death lawsuit. The hospital and doctors, however, continue to assert they did nothing wrong and were not negligent in causing the woman's death.

New Mexico residents who have personally be impacted or had a loved one impacted by an act of medical malpractice may choose to discuss their case with an attorney. Individuals who have been adversely impacted by an act of medical negligence deserve answers and compensation for the pain, suffering and loss they have suffered.

Source: The Boston Globe, "MGH doctors to pay $4.5m over death," Jacqueline Tempera, April 16, 2014

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